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Re: Which piano do I keep? [Re: 2Pianos] #2893269 09/23/19 01:07 AM
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Equal temperament is a well temperament, and that is what I use on my 1912 Brinkerhoff piano. There is no way I would tune it to anything other than equal temperament. It would risk causing tuning instability. There would be downsides in terms of unplayable music, and I would not derive much advantage from it. Tuning instability is a risk for modern pianos as well. I used to own an acoustic clavichord that I tuned myself, so I do have some experience with non-equal temperaments. The better a temperament permits playing in all major and minor keys, the closer it is to equal temperament.

Unequal temperaments can be quite cool on digital instruments because you can root the temperament on the tonic of the key of the piece your are playing with the touch of some buttons.


Login name is a tribute to Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck, arguably the historically first great keyboard virtuoso.
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Re: Which piano do I keep? [Re: 2Pianos] #2893274 09/23/19 01:37 AM
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Yes but Chopin did not use equal temperament did he ?Yet wrote a number of
things in different keys ?(plenty sharps and flats)

Last edited by Lady Bird; 09/23/19 01:43 AM. Reason: Spelling
Re: Which piano do I keep? [Re: 2Pianos] #2893278 09/23/19 01:53 AM
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We don’t know what temperaments Chopin used. I’m not a fan of, say 12-tone music but I certainly would not want to tune my piano in a way that prevented playing it as one example. If a well temperament was close enough to equal temperament to play all of the Chopin Preludes, it would be close enough to equal temperament that I would not consider it to offer much advantage over equal temperament. I’m not sure how many listeners would hear the difference when a piece was played.


Login name is a tribute to Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck, arguably the historically first great keyboard virtuoso.
Re: Which piano do I keep? [Re: 2Pianos] #2893301 09/23/19 05:04 AM
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when Perri Knize investigated how her piano was initially set up and tuned that pleased her so highly, it turned out that the technician had his own equal temperament he called 'schubert'. what is one characteristic of schubert's solo piano works -- vivid modulations. one of the main reasons some of us prefer unequal circulating temperaments is to enhance the contrasts between different keys, or having some major and minor thirds closer to pythagorean whole number ratios.

Re: Which piano do I keep? [Re: 2Pianos] #2893575 09/23/19 11:47 PM
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Major and minor thirds do deviate more from just intonation in equal temperament than most other temperaments. I still would not tune my acoustic piano to an unequal temperament.


Login name is a tribute to Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck, arguably the historically first great keyboard virtuoso.
Re: Which piano do I keep? [Re: Lady Bird] #2893678 09/24/19 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Lady Bird
Yes but Chopin did not use equal temperament did he ?Yet wrote a number of
things in different keys ?(plenty sharps and flats)

Hi LadyBird- I’ve never formally studied Chopin as a composer. I just assumed Chopin always wrote in the those major and minor keys with lots of sharps and flats because, in fact, it’s physically easier to play big chords on the black keys. It sure takes longer for we piano students to learn, but once learned it’s easier to play and memorize.
It’s an interesting question.
That’s what I love about this place - learn something new every day.
Of course we could start down the Chopin and George Sands affair track again 😁.


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Re: Which piano do I keep? [Re: j&j] #2893763 09/24/19 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by j&j
Originally Posted by Lady Bird
Yes but Chopin did not use equal temperament did he ?Yet wrote a number of
things in different keys ?(plenty sharps and flats)

Hi LadyBird- I’ve never formally studied Chopin as a composer. I just assumed Chopin always wrote in the those major and minor keys with lots of sharps and flats because, in fact, it’s physically easier to play big chords on the black keys. It sure takes longer for we piano students to learn, but once learned it’s easier to play and memorize.
It’s an interesting question.
That’s what I love about this place - learn something new every day.
Of course we could start down the Chopin and George Sands affair track again 😁.

I am not pushing this J&J I really could not care about what type of tuning Chopin uses.
The whole point here is huaidongxi tunes his victorian piano in a different tuning.He has pointed
out the historical precedence for this tuning for doing so !
Chopin and his tuning has been mentioned by a number of people FIRST not me !
I am not some prima Donna just carrying this on .
No one is being dramatic but Sweelinck needs to realise that people tune thier pianos differently
sometimes .I think you are being unfair !

Re: Which piano do I keep? [Re: 2Pianos] #2893773 09/24/19 04:37 PM
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I wish the OP ,2Pianos would let us know which pianos they decided on ?
If they are still searching, it would be interesting to hear ?
Hearing about lovely older pianos is always interesting !

Re: Which piano do I keep? [Re: Lady Bird] #2893811 09/24/19 07:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Lady Bird
I wish the OP ,2Pianos would let us know which pianos they decided on ?
If they are still searching, it would be interesting to hear ?
Hearing about lovely older pianos is always interesting !


I 2nd this hope! OP, any updates?


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Re: Which piano do I keep? [Re: j&j] #2894064 09/25/19 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by j&j
Originally Posted by Lady Bird
Yes but Chopin did not use equal temperament did he ?Yet wrote a number of
things in different keys ?(plenty sharps and flats)

Hi LadyBird- I’ve never formally studied Chopin as a composer. I just assumed Chopin always wrote in the those major and minor keys with lots of sharps and flats because, in fact, it’s physically easier to play big chords on the black keys. It sure takes longer for we piano students to learn, but once learned it’s easier to play and memorize.
It’s an interesting question.
That’s what I love about this place - learn something new every day.
Of course we could start down the Chopin and George Sands affair track again 😁.

The only time I ever mentioned George Sand on this forum was with the historical thread
about Clara Schumann, whom someone else wrote in about ! She being a great novelist (not
just a mistress of Chopin )in her own right ,and belonged in that discussion! !!!
Chopins chromatic chords are just part of the structure in his composition nothing more.
Tuning is often personal and can be even more so if you have an older piano.It is not OT


Last edited by Lady Bird; 09/25/19 10:59 AM. Reason: Missing word
Re: Which piano do I keep? [Re: 2Pianos] #2919814 12/04/19 05:13 PM
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I would not call George Sand a mistress of Chopin. Chopin was unmarried. They were in a relationship. George Sand was fully separated from her husband but they never were divorced.

Speaking of Sand, in her book “A Winter in Mallorca”, a kind of travelogue of her and Chopin’s winter spent there, she wrote that Chopin was composing his Preludes at that time, and she considered them to be his greatest work artistically.


Login name is a tribute to Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck, arguably the historically first great keyboard virtuoso.
Re: Which piano do I keep? [Re: 2Pianos] #2919881 12/04/19 08:07 PM
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Well certanly in those days George Sand would not been considered an ideal girl friend
for a young single man.However as you suggest "times have changed ! "I really could not
care one way or another certainly not about 19th century persons proper or improper relationships.
Life has enough complications in this 21st century!
We are amazingly blessed to have Chopins music !


Last edited by Lady Bird; 12/04/19 08:10 PM. Reason: Spelling
Re: Which piano do I keep? [Re: 2Pianos] #2919891 12/04/19 08:34 PM
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Here is a picture of George Sande the eccentric woman novelist
who dressed in pants and smoked cigars.She was also the girlfriend
of Chopin.(I hope I got it correct)

https://images.app.goo.gl/yhL1J9Js3R8nQa798

Re: Which piano do I keep? [Re: Lady Bird] #2919895 12/04/19 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Lady Bird
Well certanly in those days George Sand would not been considered an ideal girl friend
for a young single man.However as you suggest "times have changed ! "I really could not
care one way or another certainly not about 19th century persons proper or improper relationships.
Life has enough complications in this 21st century!
We are amazingly blessed to have Chopins music !




Agree on all points made.


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Re: Which piano do I keep? [Re: 2Pianos] #2919915 12/04/19 10:48 PM
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Sweelinck,
Have you read A Winter in Mallorca ? I would love to read this work.It would have to be an english translation as my French is rather "sketchy".Reading George Sands life here on Wikipedia ,seems a
combination of being shocking and yet remarkable.
I think though Liszt's personal life, if one delved deep enough would be just as shocking. It makes
one relies that some of these composer's personal lives are similar to some celebrities of today.
Well perhaps just some !

Re: Which piano do I keep? [Re: 2Pianos] #2919961 12/05/19 01:33 AM
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Yes, I have read it. There is an English translation done by Robert Graves, the novelist who wrote historical fiction of ancient times ("I, Claudius" is his most famous). He lived in Mallorca, and included lots of long footnotes rebutting negative views Sand had of Mallorca.

Sand did not mention Chopin by name in the book, possibly because she and Chopin made the trip to evade the scrutiny of their relationship by the Paris elite. The translation I read included a retrospective of the trip she wrote later in part to address the criticisms of her criticisms of Mallorcan life, and if memory serves that is where she discussed the Preludes. She did however discuss the complexities and high import duties of moving the Pleyel Grand of her "family friend" from Paris to the island of Mallorca. The export duties were so high that the piano was left behind when they returned to Paris, given or sold to someone who lived on the island.

Sand wrote 58 novels and 13 plays, and certainly is one of the greatest writers of the 19th century. Her most famous novels, Indiana and Lelia, and probably many others, deal with repressive 19th century social values concerning relationships and marriage, and certainly violated the sensibilities of many readers of the time, but she nonetheless was immensely popular.

A mistress is defined as a woman with an intimate relationship with a man married to someone else. She may have been that sometime during her lifetime, but not with Chopin. I'm pretty sure she would have bristled at the label.

I think Sand was a fascinating person who lived a remarkable life-- a strong feminist a century and a half before the term was coined.

Niecks 2-volume biography of Chopin also has much info about Sand, and her friendship with Liszt, Balzac, Delacroix, and Hugo, as well as of course her relationship with Chopin-- although plays down the intimate aspect of it to some extent.


Login name is a tribute to Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck, arguably the historically first great keyboard virtuoso.
Re: Which piano do I keep? [Re: Lady Bird] #2919981 12/05/19 03:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Lady Bird

The only time I ever mentioned George Sand on this forum was with the historical thread
about Clara Schumann, whom someone else wrote in about !


I remember that. You raised the very interesting question about whether Clara knew her, and what they would have thought of each other.

That would be fascinating to know. It could be a good topic for a play!

Re: Which piano do I keep? [Re: 2Pianos] #2919994 12/05/19 04:21 AM
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I don’t know if Clara Schumann and George Sand ever met, but Clara is never mentioned in descriptions of I’ve read of gatherings at Sand’s estate in Nohant, in which Chopin, Liszt, Balzac, Hugo, and Delacroix were often present. Sand’s circle was very Paris-centric. Also, while Robert Schumann held Chopin in very high regard, there did not seem to be mutual admiration.


Login name is a tribute to Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck, arguably the historically first great keyboard virtuoso.
Re: Which piano do I keep? [Re: johnstaf] #2920048 12/05/19 07:12 AM
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Originally Posted by johnstaf
Originally Posted by Lady Bird

The only time I ever mentioned George Sand on this forum was with the historical thread
about Clara Schumann, whom someone else wrote in about !


I remember that. You raised the very interesting question about whether Clara knew her, and what they would have thought of each other.

That would be fascinating to know. It could be a good topic for a play!

An amazing topic for a play ! Perhaps Schumanns music was too intellectual and German for Chopin ?
It was a different type of aesthetic that each composer aimed at I think.
I can just imagine George Sande skipping around the room while Chopin played his Polonaises.
Clara watching in horror !

Last edited by Lady Bird; 12/05/19 07:15 AM. Reason: Missing word
Re: Which piano do I keep? [Re: 2Pianos] #2920264 12/05/19 05:02 PM
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Quite possibly that’s the reason, although I’m not sure if Chopin expressed admiration for the music of any other romantic-era composers. I confess that in my own musical development, it took me longer to engage emotionally with Schumann’s music than with that of Chopin, Tchaikovsky, Brahms, Mendelssohn, or Dvorak among romantics. But over time I came to appreciate Schumann’s depth, expression, and genius. A turning point was when I heard a sublime rendering of Schumann’s Arabesque as an encore at a piano recital I attended in my mid 20’s.

Robert at times wrote music that Clara could use to show off her superlative technique (in addition to her outstanding musicality) in recitals. I think Chopin was put off by some music of Liszt in feeling like the musical aesthetic was too often subordinated to the technical difficulty, and some similar sentiment may have been a factor with his view of Schumann.


Login name is a tribute to Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck, arguably the historically first great keyboard virtuoso.
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